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Unions, Commerce and Conservation Organizations Urge Passage of S. 659, The "Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act"

Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- The effort to stop reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the American firearms industry recently gained support from over 30 wildlife conservation organizations, as well as a host of national commerce advocacy groups and labor unions. This diverse alliance has united to urge passage of S.659, legislation blocking fraudulent lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and dealers. BASS/ESPN Outdoors, Congressional Sportsmen`s Foundation and the Izaak Walton League of America are only a few of the conservation organizations that have signed on as supporters of the bill. They join other prominent groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Association of Wholesalers-Distributors along with union locals of the United Auto Workers (UAW), United Steel Workers and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in supporting this common sense measure. The National Rifle Association`s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, said, "These malicious suits are nothing more than a shameful move by the gun-ban lobby to achieve their goals by circumventing the legislative process and driving a legitimate industry out of business. Unless Congress acts now to block this gross exploitation of the American judicial system, all law-abiding businesses will be vulnerable to similar attacks." Gun control groups and politicians have attempted to derail support for this measure by claiming that S. 659 would prohibit all lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and retailers. To the contrary, Cox said, "This is not a blanket immunity bill. Manufacturers and retailers who violate local, state or federal law will still be subject to civil litigation. Any group or politician who claims otherwise is either intentionally misleading the American people or has not read the bill." S. 659 has 54 co-sponsors in the United States Senate, including 9 Democrats. Yet, zealous gun-ban advocates in the U.S. Senate have threatened a filibuster to thwart the democratic process. This bill passed the United States House of Representatives with 285 votes - a better than 2 to 1 margin. President Bush has said he will sign S. 659 into law when it reaches his desk. We urge every Senator to support the will of the President, the U.S. House of Representatives and the vast majority of law-abiding Americans. A complete list of conservation groups supporting S. 659 follows this release. Conservation Organizations in Support of S. 659 BASS/ESPN Outdoors Boone and Crockett Club Buckmasters American Deer Foundation Campfire Club of America Congressional Sportsmen`s Foundation Council for Wildlife Management and Education Dallas Safari Club Foundation for North American Wild Sheep Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Foundation International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies International Hunter Education Association Izaak Walton League of America Mule Deer Foundation National Shooting Sports Foundation National Trappers Association National Wild Turkey Federation Pheasants Forever Pope and Young Club Quail Unlimited Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Ruffed Grouse Society Safari Club International Shikar-Safari Club Texas Wildlife Association The Wildlife Society U.S. Sportsmen`s Alliance Whitetails Unlimited Wildlife Forever Wildlife Management Institute --nra--
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.